John Williams

John Williams - University Of California, Los Angeles, Timeline and Childhood

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John Williams Biography Stories 

John Williams's Personal Details

John Williams is a multiple award-winning, widely successful American composer, conductor and pianist

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 8, 1932
NationalityAmerican
FamousJuilliard School, University Of California, Los Angeles, Musicians, Pianists, Composers
SpousesBarbara Ruick, Samantha Winslow
Known asJohn Towner Williams
ChildrensJennifer Williams, Joseph Williams, Mark Towner Williams
Universities
  • Juilliard School,University Of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California
  • Los Angeles
  • 1950 - North Hollywood High School
  • Juilliard School
Notable Alumnis
  • Juilliard School
  • University Of California
  • Los Angeles
Birth PlaceFloral Park
Height182
GenderMale
FatherJohnny Williams
MotherEsther Williams
Net Worth$100 Million
Sun SignAquarius
Born inFloral Park
Famous asComposer

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John Williams's photo

Who is John Williams?

John Williams is a multiple award-winning, widely successful American composer, conductor and pianist. As his father was a professional jazz percussionist, John developed a liking for music and symphonies at an early age. By the time he was 15, he had his own jazz band and he played and experimented with various musical instruments. He created his first original composition, a piano sonata, when he was 19. He worked as a jazz pianist and studio musician before making a name for himself in films and television in the 1960s. His career has spanned several decades and in the process he has given iconic film scores in over a 100 films including the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘Jaws’, ‘E.T.’, ‘Indiana Jones’ series, ‘Superman’, ‘Schindler's List’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, ‘War Horse’ and ‘Lincoln’. For his efforts he has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and 22 Grammy Awards, highlighting the importance and quality of his work. He has enjoyed most of his success with Steven Spielberg, composing music for all but two of his films. Other than composing for films, he has conducted many national and international orchestras and authored several concert works too

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Childhood & Early Life

John Williams was born on February 8, 1932 in Floral Park, New York, to Esther and Johnny Williams. His father was a jazz percussionist with the CBS radio orchestra.

Owing to his father's profession and interests, music and instruments left an impression in the young boy’s mind and soon he began playing the piano, trumpet, trombone and clarinet.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1948, he attended North Hollywood High School and the University of California, LA. He was also privately tutored by the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for some time.

In 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. He used to conduct and arrange music for the Air Force band till his service ended in 1955.

In 1955, he enrolled at The Julliard School in New York City and studied piano with Rosina Lhevinne. Here, he also began playing in many clubs with Jack Sperling on drums, Bob Bain on guitar and Rolly Bundock on bass.

On completion of his studies he came back to LA and worked as an orchestrator at film studios. He gained experience in composition and technique by working with Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman.

Career

After his first film composition for ‘Daddy-O’ in 1958, John Williams composed music for films like ‘Peter Gunn’, ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ and TV programs such as ‘Bachelor Father’, the ‘Kraft Suspense Theatre’, ‘Lost in Space’, etc. during the 1960s.

He gained reputation and made a name for himself with the musical scores for the films ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘Images’, ‘The Poseidon Adventure’, ‘The Towering Inferno’, ‘Earthquake’, and ‘The Cowboys’ during the early 1970s.

In 1974, he composed the music for Steven Spielberg's directorial debut 'The Sugarland Express'. This marked the beginning of a very long director-composer bond between them, with John Williams composing for all but two films by Spielberg.

In 1978 he worked with director Richard Donner for the film 'Superman'. The love theme ‘Can You Read My Mind’ appeared in the next four sequels too.

In 1980, he succeeded Arthur Fiedler as the Boston Pops Orchestra's Principal conductor. Years later, he vacated the position for former associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Keith Lockhart.

In 1981, Spielberg and Williams got together for the film 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. Separate themes were created for the Ark of the Covenant, and the characters of Marion and the Nazi villains. Several other additional themes came out in the sequels.

Spielberg and Williams have also worked together in ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), ‘Empire of the Sun’ (1987), ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993), ‘Schindler's List’ (1993), ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998), and ‘Munich’ (2005).

He scored the music for the first three instalments of the Harry Potter film franchisee. He was asked to return for the last instalment, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2’ but he could not due to his busy schedule.

In 2008, he scored the music for ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, which received a Grammy nomination. He also composed for two documentaries: ‘Warner at War’ and ‘A Timeless Call’.

He scored the music for the film ‘The Book Thief’ in 2013, working with a director other than Spielberg after 2005. It earned him many awards and nominations.

In 2015, he gave the music score for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. The movie earned him his 50th Academy Award nomination.

In 2016, he composed the score for Steven Spielberg's fantasy adventure film 'The BFG'.

Awards & Achievements

John Williams currently holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person with 50 nominations and is second only to Walt Disney (59 nominations) in the Academy Awards history.

He has won the Academy Award on five different occasions. These include: ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (1971), ‘Jaws’ (1975) and ‘Star Wars’ (1977), ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982) and ‘Schindler's List’ (1993).

In 2003, he was accorded the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor, the Olympic Order. A year later, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.

For his achievements in Symphonic music, he was given the National Medal of Arts in the White House in 2009 and a Ken Burns Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

He has also been inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.

He has been nominated for 67 Grammy Awards and has won 23 of them.

Personal Life & Legacy

John Williams married American actress and singer, Barbara Ruick in 1956. The couple had three children: Jennifer, Joseph and Mark. Barbara passed away in 1974.

He married Samantha Winslow, a photographer, in 1980.

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John Williams's awards

YearNameAward

Academy Awards(Oscars)

1994Best Music, Original ScoreSchindler's List (1993)
1983Best Music, Original ScoreE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1978Best Music, Original ScoreStar Wars (1977)
1976Best Music, Original Dramatic ScoreJaws (1975)
1972Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song ScoreFiddler on the Roof (1971)

Golden Globe Awards

2006Best Original Score - Motion PictureMemoirs of a Geisha (2005)
1983Best Original Score - Motion PictureE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1978Best Original Score - Motion PictureStar Wars (1977)
1976Best Original Score - Motion PictureJaws (1975)

Primetime Emmy Awards

2009Outstanding Original Main Title Theme MusicGreat Performances (1971)
1972Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition - For a Special ProgramJane Eyre (1970)
1969Outstanding Achievement in Musical CompositionHeidi (1968)

BAFTA Awards

1994Best ScoreSchindler's List (1993)
1989Best ScoreEmpire of the Sun (1987)
1983Best ScoreE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1976Jaws (1975)The Towering Inferno (1974)

Grammy Awards

2017Best Score Soundtrack for Visual MediaStar Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
2015Best Instrumental CompositionThe Book Thief (2013)
2009Best Instrumental CompositionIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
2007Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaMemoirs of a Geisha (2005)
2007Best Instrumental CompositionMunich (2005)
1999Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for TelevisionSaving Private Ryan (1998)
1995Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for TelevisionSchindler's List (1993)
1983Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1983Best Instrumental CompositionE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1983Best Instrumental ArrangementE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1982Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialRaiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
1981Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialStar Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
1980Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialSuperman (1978)
1980Best Instrumental CompositionSuperman (1978)
1979Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialClose Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
1978Best Album of Original Score written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialStar Wars (1977)
1978Best Instrumental CompositionStar Wars (1977)
1978Best Pop Instrumental PerformanceStar Wars (1977)
1976Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television SpecialJaws (1975)

John Williams biography timelines

  • // 8th Feb 1932
    John Williams was born on February 8, 1932 in Floral Park, New York, to Esther and Johnny Williams. His father was a jazz percussionist with the CBS radio orchestra.
  • // 1948
    After moving to Los Angeles in 1948, he attended North Hollywood High School and the University of California, LA. He was also privately tutored by the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for some time.
  • // 1952 To 1955
    In 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. He used to conduct and arrange music for the Air Force band till his service ended in 1955.
  • // 1955
    In 1955, he enrolled at The Julliard School in New York City and studied piano with Rosina Lhevinne. Here, he also began playing in many clubs with Jack Sperling on drums, Bob Bain on guitar and Rolly Bundock on bass.
  • // 1956 To 1974
    John Williams married American actress and singer, Barbara Ruick in 1956. The couple had three children: Jennifer, Joseph and Mark. Barbara passed away in 1974.
  • // 1958
    After his first film composition for ‘Daddy-O’ in 1958, John Williams composed music for films like ‘Peter Gunn’, ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ and TV programs such as ‘Bachelor Father’, the ‘Kraft Suspense Theatre’, ‘Lost in Space’, etc. during the 1960s.
  • // 1971 To 1993
    He has won the Academy Award on five different occasions. These include: ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (1971), ‘Jaws’ (1975) and ‘Star Wars’ (1977), ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982) and ‘Schindler's List’ (1993).
  • // 1974
    In 1974, he composed the music for Steven Spielberg's directorial debut 'The Sugarland Express'. This marked the beginning of a very long director-composer bond between them, with John Williams composing for all but two films by Spielberg.
  • // 1978
    In 1978 he worked with director Richard Donner for the film 'Superman'. The love theme ‘Can You Read My Mind’ appeared in the next four sequels too.
  • // 1980
    In 1980, he succeeded Arthur Fiedler as the Boston Pops Orchestra's Principal conductor. Years later, he vacated the position for former associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Keith Lockhart.
  • // 1980
    He married Samantha Winslow, a photographer, in 1980.
  • // 1981
    In 1981, Spielberg and Williams got together for the film 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. Separate themes were created for the Ark of the Covenant, and the characters of Marion and the Nazi villains. Several other additional themes came out in the sequels.
  • // 1982 To 2005
    Spielberg and Williams have also worked together in ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), ‘Empire of the Sun’ (1987), ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993), ‘Schindler's List’ (1993), ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998), and ‘Munich’ (2005).
  • // 2003
    In 2003, he was accorded the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor, the Olympic Order. A year later, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • // 2005 To 2013
    He scored the music for the film ‘The Book Thief’ in 2013, working with a director other than Spielberg after 2005. It earned him many awards and nominations.
  • // 2008
    In 2008, he scored the music for ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, which received a Grammy nomination. He also composed for two documentaries: ‘Warner at War’ and ‘A Timeless Call’.
  • // 2009 To 2013
    For his achievements in Symphonic music, he was given the National Medal of Arts in the White House in 2009 and a Ken Burns Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
  • // 2015
    In 2015, he gave the music score for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. The movie earned him his 50th Academy Award nomination.
  • // 2016
    In 2016, he composed the score for Steven Spielberg's fantasy adventure film 'The BFG'.

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John Williams's FAQ

  • What is John Williams birthday?

    John Williams was born at 1932-02-08

  • Where is John Williams's birth place?

    John Williams was born in Floral Park

  • What is John Williams nationalities?

    John Williams's nationalities is American

  • Who is John Williams spouses?

    John Williams's spouses is Barbara Ruick, Samantha Winslow

  • Who is John Williams childrens?

    John Williams's childrens is Jennifer Williams, Joseph Williams, Mark Towner Williams

  • What was John Williams universities?

    John Williams studied at Juilliard School,University Of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Los Angeles, 1950 - North Hollywood High School, Juilliard School

  • What was John Williams notable alumnis?

    John Williams's notable alumnis is Juilliard School, University Of California, Los Angeles

  • How tall is John Williams?

    John Williams's height is 182

  • Who is John Williams's father?

    John Williams's father is Johnny Williams

  • Who is John Williams's mother?

    John Williams's mother is Esther Williams

  • What is John Williams's sun sign?

    John Williams is Aquarius

  • How famous is John Williams?

    John Williams is famouse as Composer